Political actors, public opinion and the extension of welfare coverage

2019-10-15T14:58:31Z (GMT) by Anthony Kevins
In a post-industrial world in which employment is increasingly ‘non-standard’, the tying of benefit access to standard employment history in insurance-style programmes has created considerable insider–outsider welfare state divisions. This article investigates the factors shaping attempts to address this issue through the extension of benefit coverage. Comparing the introduction of minimum income schemes in France and Italy, it explores the explanatory power of various partisanship- and institution-based accounts. The article argues that Italian inaction was the result not of partisanship-based factors, but rather of contrasting levels of public pressure. The divergent public opinion was, in turn, shaped by institutional characteristics typically associated with Southern European welfare states. Survey and multi-level model analyses provide support for the claim that the centrality of the family and limited administrative capacity have had an impact on concern for the unemployed.